Barcelona appear to have made a desperate attempt to reverse their failure to sign Philippe Coutinho in aid of protecting themselves from further backlash.
Liverpool refused to be bullied by the Catalan giants, who saw three bids of £72million, £90million and £118million rejected by the Reds this summer.
Their pursuit of Coutinho came to a decisive end on Friday night as the Spanish transfer window slammed shut, leaving the La Liga side exposed to criticism for its lack of significant activity.
Barcelona’s director of professional sports Albert Soler has, however, claimed that Liverpool were open to selling the Brazilian playmaker on deadline day- for a fee the club wasn’t prepared to pay. Convenient.
“Yesterday, after weeks of offers and talks, Liverpool valued a player we wanted at €200m (£185m). We decided against that,” Soler said in a press conference, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Despite completing the signing of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona have come under pressure from fans, with many aggrieved by the response to the £198million sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.
On the other side, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Groups have been subject to high praise from supporters for their refusal to budge from an insistence that Coutinho would not be sold for any price.
The No.10 could now be available for the club’s trip to face Manchester City after recovering from a back injury to play for Brazil during midweek.
Liverpool were never going to sell Coutinho, making it easy to see through claims suggesting they would.
The reintegration of the 25-year-old marks the next interesting step.